The ECB has today announced that Gary Kirsten will work with the England Lions squad in a consultancy role this winter.

Kirsten, the former South Africa opener, has become one of the most successful and respected coaches in world cricket since retiring in 2004, and will link up with the Lions ahead of their 50-over series against Pakistan ‘A’ in the United Arab Emirates in January.

Former New Zealand spinner, Daniel Vettori, has been brought on board for the first phase of the winter’s England Performance Programme (EPP), and is due to join the specialist batting and spin training camp in Dubai later this month, working with EPP Lead Spin Bowling Coach, Peter Such.

Worcestershire Director of Cricket, Steve Rhodes, will also work with the Lions this winter in an assistant coach capacity, alongside head coach Andy Flower.

Flower said: “One of the primary objectives of the England Performance Programme and the England Lions touring schedule is to provide the players with experiences and opportunities that go above what they would get in domestic cricket.

"Being able to call on the likes of Gary Kirsten and Daniel Vettori, to support the delivery of the programme and work with the players, represents a big part of this objective, and I am delighted that they have agreed to be involved in a consultancy capacity this winter.”

The EPP winter training schedule began this week with the full squad assembling at the National Cricket Performance Centre (NCPC) in Loughborough for the first time.

The 18 selected players will complete a four-day preparation camp on Thursday, before they split into two specialist groups to depart on 11th November for a batting and spin camp in Dubai, and a fast bowling camp in South Africa.

The two groups then come together in Dubai later in the month, before the England Lions face Pakistan ‘A’ in a five-match Twenty20 (T20) series in the UAE in December.

Another Lions squad, which has still to be named, will then face Pakistan ‘A’ in a five-match one-day series in January 2016.